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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Hits 3-Month High on $50 Oil

The ruble climbed to a three-month high against the dollar as the price of oil traded above $50 a barrel and metals gained, attracting investors back to the energy-exporting economy.

The currency gained as much as 0.4 percent to 32.93 per dollar on Monday, the strongest since Jan. 26. It added 0.3 percent to 37.82 versus the dollar/euro currency basket used to manage fluctuations that hurt exporters, stronger than the level that traders say the Central Bank had previously been defending.

Crude in New York rose 0.8 percent to $53.60 a barrel Monday, 4.9 percent higher than on April 30, before markets closed for the May 1 holiday.

"Everyone is looking at the oil price above $50, as that's a good figure for the Russian economy," said Nikolai Kashcheev, head of economic research at Moscow's MDM-Bank. "Given where the price is, the Central Bank has let it go a little bit stronger today."

The Central Bank has been buying foreign currency since the end of January after the ruble started to strengthen amid a rebound in oil prices and policymakers limited bets against the local currency. After halting the ruble's advance at 37.90 last week, the Central Bank is now exchanging dollars and euros for rubles at 37.85 versus the basket Monday, said Kashcheyev, citing MDM currency traders.

The ruble added 0.2 percent to 33 per dollar on Monday, from 33.06 on May 1. It closed at 33.10 on April 30, the last day of official ruble trading in April. The currency gained to 43.73 per euro Monday, from 43.88 in unofficial trading on May 1, and 43.79 on April 30.